Call 0794 9095754
- What is Horses4Homes
- Why Use Horses4Homes
- Listing A Horse
- The Horses4Homes Foundation
- The Horses
- The Cost
- Before you Apply
- The Application Process
- The Re-homing Process
- The Re-Home Agreement
- Why we can’t list or promote horses as broodmares or list stallions/colts
- What are the prospects of finding a companion only horse a suitable new home ?
- Where do the funds payable by those taking on the horses go ?
What is Horses4Homes
Horses4Homes is the only registered equine charity in the UK that vastly reduces the risks associated with rehoming by providing a state of the art online listing and application process. The charity’s dedicated staff who work 7 days a week provide support and guidance to all matters relating to responsible rehoming.
- The charity helped to rehome 180 horses in 2013
- The charity has rehomed over 200 horses this year already.
- It’s site receives over 50,000 visitors each month
- It receives over 100 applications for horses every month
- It receives over 70 horse listings each month
Anyone who rehomes through the charity is asked to complete our survey and here are the responses for 2014 so far;
- Would you use the charity again to apply/list a horse for rehoming ? – 100% Yes
- Would you recommend the charity to family and friends ? – 100% Yes
- Do you think the charity’s system and support reduces the risks associated with rehoming ? 98% Yes
- Do you think the £10 application fee helps to prevent timewasters from applying for horses ? 95% Yes
Why Use Horses4Homes
Horses4Homes invites any horse owner wishing to find a responsible new owner, loanee or sharer for their much loved horse to use the Horses4Homes system. Rather than listing horses “free to a good home” which is fraught with risks of unscrupulous, dishonest people and timewasters approaching you to take on your horse and invariably costs you money – use Horses4Homes.
Horses4Homes is free to list your horse, screens applicants and will inspect new homes.
Horses4Homes is the only online system available that attempts to match horses with suitable new owners/loanees or sharers. The system has been many months in the making and has been developed by an equine welfare professional in consultation with leading equine charities. In 2013 the charity rehomed 180 horses. In 2014 this number has already been exceeded.
The details required to list a horse and apply for a horse are extensive but necessary to enable people to make informed decisions before they make a commitment to re-home a horse. Every horse listed on the site is first screened before it is published to help ensure the information provided is as detailed and transparent as possible enabling potential applicants to make informed decisions as to their potential suitability.
The Horses4Homes website receives over 50,000 visitors each month with many horse adverts receiving hundreds of views within a matter of days. Applications often being submitted the very same day a horse’s advert is published on the site.
Horses are advertised on the owner’s behalf through Social Media bringing interested parties to the adverts on the Charity’s site and encouraging them to use the bespoke application and rehoming process facilitated by the charity.
Newsletters are sent to registered users of the charity every week promoting the horses for rehoming, the charity now has over 13,000 users.
Applicants are encouraged to view, trial (more than once) and vet horses prior to agreeing to re-home them. If they do not wish to have the horse vetted they should at the very least contact the Owner’s vet to obtain a full clinical history on the horse. Permission to do this is usually given by the owner and made clear on the horse’s listing.
Horse Owners are encouraged to allow applicants to view, trial and vet the horse if they so wish, take up references to verify applicant’s suitability, carry out CCJ checks and make use of the Horses4Homes welfare representatives to inspect new homes before making that final commitment to re-home their horse.
All Re-homes will include the cost of a bespoke re-home agreement tailor made to meet the needs of your horse to ensure transparency of commitment, responsibility and its related cost. If ownership is to be signed over to the successful applicant that individual will need to sign an agreement stating that should they ever need to rehome that horse in the future they will give the previous owner the opportunity to take the horse back at no further cost and if this is not a viable option, will re-list the horse with Horses4Homes. Under no circumstances is the horse to be sold on the open market.
Listing A Horse
To list a horse on Horses4Homes simply register here, complete the listing process, upload current photos, videos and veterinary records if you have them.
Horses4Homes will then activate your listing, subject to you providing sufficient detail and you can then sit back and wait for the Horses4Homes team to screen the applicants who apply for your horse and forward to you the best ones available for you to explore further, saving you time, anxiety and worry.
The Horses4Homes Foundation
As the cost of acquiring one of the horses listed on Horses4Homes is only £50 it is advisable and recommended that all horse owners request a donation be made to the Horses4Homes Foundation by the applicant who goes on to re-home/loan or share your horse to demonstrate their commitment to horse welfare, your horse and their financial capability to take on your horse. The majority of equine charities all invite their loanees to make a donation to their organisation, without financial support and the generosity of horse lovers we would not be able to help so many horses find loving homes. Please donate here
All the horses listed on Horses4Homes are vulnerable. They are all looking for caring, responsible, loving new homes (or sharers) and if you are able to help these horses by providing homes for life Horses4homes urges you to apply and help the horses. Many of the owners listing their horses on Horses4Homes have hit hard times and would love nothing more than to keep their much loved horse but for reasons out of their control they are unable to do so.
It is free to list any horse on Horses4Homes but if owners can afford to make a donation of just a few pounds when they list their horse it is hugely appreciated.
The fee to apply for a horse is a non-refundable £10. Horses4Homes is committed to matching you with the most appropriate horse to suit your requirements and therefore you are likely to need to apply for more than one horse to ensure you find the right one for you but completing the application process will be quicker each time as many of your answers will be saved from previous applications.
If deemed suitable, once your application has been screened, verified and a new home inspected, the cost of re-homing a horse is £50. It may also be necessary for you to make a donation to the Horses4Homes Foundation, as requested by the horse owner detailed on the horse listing, to demonstrate your commitment to horse welfare and taking on the new horse.
Related costs include pre purchase veterinary examination, if you choose to have this done (recommended) and transport costs.
Before you Apply
Before you formally agree to apply for a horse on Horses4Homes whether that be as a new owner, loanee or perhaps a sharer, it is necessary for you to seriously consider whether you have the time, knowledge, experience and financial capacity to make such a commitment. Caring for and riding horses is a very time consuming and costly activity which should not be undertaken lightly.
Before browsing for available horses it is necessary for you to decide what type of horse you are looking for in accordance with your ability, equine knowledge, funds available and the time you have to look after the horse. You will need to decide whether you should loan a horse, share a horse or take over ownership of a horse.
You will need to consider where you would keep the horse and the related cost of this, is their sufficient support at the premises if you are inexperienced, which veterinary surgeon you would use, the type and cost of insurance and what contingency plan you would have for when you are away on holiday or ill. Please ensure that you inform yourself fully before you apply for any horse on Horses4Homes. Extensive advice is available on the British Horse Society’s website; Buying & Owning a Horse , Loaning a Horse.
If, after reading all the advice available, you believe you are able to make the commitment and wish to apply for a horse please read carefully the details that accompany each horse matching your search criteria and proceed to complete the detailed application process.
The Application Process
There are numerous questions, all of which we require you to answer honestly, providing sufficient detail wherever possible. It will take about 10-15 minutes to complete the application form. It can be saved as you go through the process so you can leave it and come back to it. It is also saved on your account so should you wish to apply for more than one horse you will not need to complete the form more than once although it can be modified as required.
Once complete your application will be checked by Horses4Homes staff to ensure it is sufficiently detailed. You may be asked to provide more information but in 75% of cases the application is forwarded within 24 hours to the owner for their consideration. If the owner does not get in touch or the horse turns out to be no longer available a free application will be offered to you. Applications cost £10.
If you are unsuccessful on your first application the details you provide on your application will be saved enabling you to apply for other horses without the need to complete the questionnaire again from scratch.
The Re-homing Process
People who are interested in a horse can message the owner through the system and find out more about it if necessary. At this stage personal contact details cannot be exchanged.
If an interested party wishes to be invited to meet the horse they need to follow the steps to “apply” for the horse on its listing. This application is then assessed (usually within 24 hours) and if deemed sufficiently detailed and complete it is forwarded to the owner of the horse to consider. If the application is deemed unsuitable by the owner it will be rejected and a polite email is sent to the applicant informing them of this.
Applicants are invited to visit the horse, trial the horse and if both parties wish to proceed with the re-home, arrange a veterinary examination of the horse. This is encouraged but not essential.
The owner should be invited to inspect the premise where the applicant intends to keep the horse. If they are unable to visit Horses4Homes can arrange a home check on the owner’s behalf.
Rehome and Loan agreements are tailormade for each rehome or share.
The Rehoming Donation shown on each horse’s listing is what is payable to the charity by the successful applicant and must be paid before the horse leaves the owner’s yard.
Horses4Homes is here throughout the process, we provide support and advice both during the process and afterwards should any problems arise.
The Re-Home Agreement
If both parties are happy to proceed with the re-homes Horses4Homes will develop a bespoke Re-home or Loan Agreement for both parties to sign. When the owner clicks on a button on their account called “Proceed to Agreement” the system will direct them to a Rehome Agreement Questionnaire, the answers to which will enable Horses4Homes to prepare the agreement. The agreement is sent to both parties for approval and can be amended as required. It must however be signed and witnessed and a copy retained by both parties before the horse goes to its new home.
If ownership is to be signed over to the successful applicant their agreement will include a clause stating that should they ever need to rehome thehorse in the future they will give the previous owner the opportunity to take the horse back at no further cost and if this is not a viable option, will re-list the horse back with Horses4Homes. Under no circumstances is the horse to be sold on the open market.
Why we can’t list or promote horses as broodmares or list stallions/colts
The large number of horses listed on our website despite the numbers we find homes for every month demonstrate that we need to be providing homes for the horses already out there rather than encouraging people to breed more, which will also need homes.
Sadly there are more than enough horses in the UK to fill the good homes our users have to offer so as a responsible charity we cannot promote further breeding.
Each time a horse is born it increases the chances of a horse not finding a loving home at some time in its life, whether it is that horse directly or the fact that that horse has taken a home that could have gone to another. It also leads to horses getting cheaper and cheaper increasing the chances of unscrupulous people taking advantage. The greater the number of horses the harder it is to fulfil the purpose of Horses4Homes and help to find them all safe loving homes.
It may seem that a private owner breeding just one foal will have little impact, but unfortunately far too many people think this so thousands are born every year.
Because of this Horses4Homes cannot list stallions/colts or broodmares as they can be used for breeding purposes
Breeding should not be a way of giving a mare a role especially if the mare has been lame or suffered something such as kissing spine, not only could these genetic defects be passed on to the next generation resulting in more suffering but being in foal subjects the mare to strain and stress and can make her existing conditions flare up.
So please don’t think that promoting your mare as a broodmare is the answer to finding her a home as it could just be the first step to there being another poor horse that does not have the home it deserves.
We are always willing to try to find homes for horses as companions, although these homes are difficult to find.
We have to think of the future and listing horses for breeding purposes is not ethical and we have to put the horse first.
Should you have any queries throughout this process please do not hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org who will advise you accordingly.
Good luck with your application and listing your horse for rehoming.
What are the prospects of finding a companion only horse a suitable new home ?
20% of the horses listed with the rehoming charity Horses4Homes are companion horses and ponies, animals that for a variety of reasons cannot, or owners believe, should not be ridden for a variety of reasons, be them behavioural or health. The % of horses and ponies that were rehomed by the charity last year which could not be ridden and were rehomed purely to be companions to other horses was just 6%. Of these companion animals 58% were ponies.
“Sadly many owners find it very difficult to justify the cost of keeping a horse or pony that cannot be ridden and there is very little demand for unrideable horses and ponies. Horses are living longer and we seem to live in a disposable society; when animals no longer serve their purpose we try to rehome them. That said the majority of horse owners own horses to ride them and with the rising cost of livery coupled with the recent economic crisis, it is very difficult for many to justify the cost of keeping an unrideable horse for what could be many years indeed.” Remarks Rebecca Evans, Rehoming Manager for the charity.
“I believe many owners realise that the likelihood of finding a 5* home for their unrideable equine is very small. Deep down I think many owners are trying to face the reality that if they are not in a position to continue to care for the horse their only realistic option is to reduce their own cost of living in order to afford the cost of the horse or have the horse humanely put to sleep at home, safe in the knowledge it has come to no harm.”
The charity would urge owners not to offer companion horses, or any other horses, “free to a good home”. By using the listing and application process offered by the charity as well as the support offered by the team at Horses4Homes there is no safer way to rehome these horses or indeed to acquire a companion horse that is honestly described by its owner who wants the best for that horse and is rehoming for genuine reasons. Horses in their prime or younger that can no longer be ridden are particularly vulnerable to being picked up by unscrupulous dealers only to be buted up and sold on as ridden animals who will undoubtedly enter a spiral of neglect moving from pillar to post until someone saves him or he meets a bitter end.
Horses4Homes is passionate about helping any owner to rehome their horse whether it be rideable or not so long as the owners subscribe to the charity’s terms of honestly and accurately describing their horses. Large horses above 16hands which are Thoroughbreds or Warmblood types are almost impossible to find homes for. There are also an abundance of unbroken, unrideable Shetland ponies which require restricted grazing and are also not easy to find homes for. Horses which can be a light hack, are good in traffic but cannot do a great deal of work are still rehomeable and the charity has been very successful in rehoming horses of this nature to riders who simply want to enjoy the countryside on horseback at a slow pace once or twice a week on a horse that is uncomplicated in almost every way. The charity has rehomed a number of horses over the age of 20 that fit this criteria.
There is a demand for companion horses and ponies but that demand is small. Those unrideable horses which have the greatest chance of finding a suitable, long term home are those which do not require medication for any health issues, are easy to manage in terms of behaviour and temperament, mix well with other horses and do not have anxiety issues if left on their own whilst its companion is taken out of the field and ridden.
Where do the funds payable by those taking on the horses go ?
I can understand that on first glance you may have thought the charity is just a website but I can assure you that is very far from the truth. The reason Horses4Homes was developed back in 2012 was because of the huge demand for owners who have fallen on hard times to find loving and responsible homes for their much loved horses that they could no longer keep. Many owners contact sanctuaries everyday in the hope that their horse can have a space at one of these centres but the reality is very few horses get that luxury and understably only those which are in desperate need are given a place at these centres. Many of these big charities now refer these owners to us to help them. We receive hundreds of calls and emails from owners and people interested in taking on a horse every month.
There is considerable risk that horses of relatively moderate value which may also have health or behaviour which is challenging could be acquired in the commercial sector by individuals who do not have their best interests at heart but whose desire is to make a profit out of masking these problems and selling the horse on. Most owners fear that if rehomed their horse will be regularly moved on and Horses4Homes has devised a rehoming system which vastly reduces the risks of both of these occurrences. Owners who have used the system think it is excellent and would recommend it to their friends and family. Do view our testimonials.
Simply setting up another sanctuary or rehabilitation centre can be seen as a false economy as the overheads are huge and the numbers of horses you can help compared with the need is arguably disproportionate. There was a need to develop a charity that could devise an effective system for those owners who were prepared to honestly describe their horses and whose interest was not one of financial gain but purely to find a suitable, loving, long term home for their horse. In order to then find these horses a home an application system needed to be devised. This was developed (the site took over 6 months to develop and is still being perfected all the time even now).
The rehoming donations are essential to enable the charity to operate and they are payable by the successful applicant who takes on the horse not the owner. It enables the charity to provide the service it does to owners completely free of charge. Keeping horses is an expensive hobby and should not be undertaken lightly and unfortunately if horses are too inexpensive to acquire they become all to easily disposable which is not in the interests of the horse.
Each listing is screened by very experienced staff before it is published and promoted on the site as we must ensure owners are being sufficiently detailed about their horses enabling people to make informed decisions as to the horse’s potential suitability. We also advise owners on all matters relating to responsible rehoming and receive quite literally hundreds of calls for help and advice every month. Anyone who is interested in visiting a horse listed on the site must apply for that horse by completing the online application form. This is where they need to explain their experience, what they wish to do with the horse, references, where they wish to keep it, the environment and so on. The majority of existing equine charities operate in this way and Horses4Homes is much the same but it is able to rehome a great deal more horses because it can help owners countrywide and is not restricted to rehoming in a small area. These applications are then screened and sent to the owners to their account online for their consideration.
All horses which are rehomed are provided with a tailormade loan or rehome agreement. If ownership is signed over new owners must sign to agree that if they ever need to rehome that horse in the future they must first and foremost let the previous owner know giving them the option to take the horse back at no extra cost and if that is not viable they are required to list the horse back through the charity and not sell it on. No horse can be sold through the site at all.
The charity provide a home check service, this is facilitated by the RSPCA, British Horse Society, Redwings, World Horse Welfare, the Mare and Foal Sanctuary and Horseworld. All of these organisations support Horses4Homes in what it has achieved and aims to achieve and allow us to use their trained staff to carry out home checks on new homes and horses already out in their new homes where owners are not in a place to carry out these checks themselves.
We promote the horses far and wide giving each and every horse the very best of chances to find an appropriate new home. Sadly with our limited resources and the huge population of horses in this country this is not always a possibility with some horses reaching over 5000 views but sadly still no homes come forward but we continue to work with the owners as much as possible and we work with the applicants to help them find the most appropriate horse for them based on the information they provide and liasing with their instructors and so on.
Once the horse is in its new home we follow up on how everything is going, conduct home checks if requested by the owner and if there are any problems at all we are here to support all parties and our priority remains the welfare of the horse. We are a great deal more than just a website but our website is state of the art and enables the staff to focus on tasks which computers cannot do and where experience, compassion and dedication are central tot he service Horses4Homes provides. Over 30% of staff time is completely unpaid and we only have 3 members of staff and a few amazing volunteers that help us. Last year we helped to rehome 180 horses and this year we have already helped to rehome over 200.